If you choose to join us on a whale watch here in our corner of the Massachusetts Bay, you're in for a treat. See our Image Gallery and you'll get a better idea of what to expect whale watching. East coast sightings include everything from the spyhopping humpback to a group of whales bubble net feeding. You may hear some sounds you've never heard before, like the booming sound of tail slapping or flippering when the humpback surfaces and, for reasons not fully understood by researchers, slaps the surface of the water. You may get a good look at the throat pleats when this rorqual whale surfaces and, perhaps, leaps. You may also get to see nearly the full humpback form if you spot a whale breaching, where it travels near the surface of the water at full speed then suddenly moves up, clearing the surface and then landing on its side or back.
Related article: Whale Watch Atlantic Ocean
The English call the humpback a "knucklehead" because these mammals, unlike any other whale species, have many bumps or knots on their heads. Perhaps you'll be the first to say, "Humpback!" as you spot this unique feature while whale watching. East coast based whale watches with Capt. Bill and Sons are popular in the summer months, and our trips often require advance reservations, partly because our experience and equipment allow us to take our guests to where things are happening nearby at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary or Jeffreys Ledge. It's common for multiple sightings of humpbacks and other species to be part of every short voyage out of Gloucester Harbor.
Most sightings detailed above feature the fascinating cetaceans who seem to love the rich feeding grounds at Stellwagen or Jeffreys Ledge: humpbacks. But many other marine mammals frequent the Sanctuary and are regularly spotted by our crew and guests. Read on to learn more about the rich variety of marine life you can experience with us.
Learn more: New England Whale Watch